Five Players That Teams Must KEEP Ahead Of The 2020 NHL Trade Deadline

The annual NHL Trade Deadline frenzy has started to heat up with a handful of big trades already having occurred. While there have been plenty of rumours as Monday’s deadline looms closer and closer, there are some players rumoured to be on the market that simply should not be traded. While it may be hard for selling teams to resist the temptation of trading certain players, below are a list of players that should not be dealt before the NHL trade deadline.

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Tomas Tatar

The Montreal Canadiens have not had the season that they were hoping for after such a positive start. While things have not gone as planned for the Canadiens, one of the few bright spots for the team this season has been Tomas Tatar. The Czech winger has arguably been the Habs best player this season and leads his team in points with 54, including 21 goals in 62 games.

Alongside Phillip Danualt and Brenden Gallagher, Tatar has helped the Canadiens first line become one of the leagues most dominant lines in the NHL. Trading Tatar would certainly bring in quite the haul for the Canadiens, however, now is not the time to do so. Tatar still has another year remaining on his contract and even though it would be quite expensive to re-sign him and the future of the team is unclear right now, Tatar is a big part of the team and will be a crucial part of the roster next season if the Habs hope to reach the postseason.

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Vincent Trochek

There have been multiple rumours surrounding Vincent Trochek being on the block for the Florida Panthers. While the Florida Panthers blue-line could significantly benefit from making a trade to bring in defensive depth, trading Trochek is not the answer. The Panthers brought in Sergei Bobrovsky in free agency, hoping that he would help solve the team’s defensive problems.

Fast forward to the present and the Panthers defence and goaltending situation has not really improved all that much. The reason why the Panthers have been fighting for a playoff spot all season has been their offence. Although the Panthers offence is headlined by Johnathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, Trochek is a key offensive piece for the Panthers.

He typically serves as the team’s second-line center and is a big part of the Panther’s top-six. Without Trochek, the Panthers center depth is quite thin and if Barkov sustains and injury and Trochek is traded, the Panthers playoff hopes will be crushed.

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Anthony Duclair

I have been quite vocal in the past on why the Ottawa Senators must keep Anthony Duclair (Embed Link to the previous Article). The Ottawa Senators are clearly sellers ahead of the trade deadline and have plenty of strong trade candidates on the market, however, Duclair should not be one of them. He has been arguably the Senators’ best player this season and although he is on the last year of his contract, he is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, so the Senators are in no rush to trade him at the deadline.

The most important reason as to why the Senators should keep Duclair is for the reason that he has publically admitted that he wants to stay with the Senators and be apart of their rebuild. Having a young, highly-talented player like Duclair publicly states his desire and commitment to stay and help rebuild the Senators is something that management should not overlook, especially considering the team’s shaky reputation. When a player like Duclair wants to stay on the team, management must keep him.

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Matt Dumba

The 25-year-old Minnesota Wild defensemen’s name has been floating around trade rumours throughout the month of February. While the Wild could likely bring in a significant return for the veteran blue-liner, Dumba is an important part of the long-term future of the organization. With the Wild starting to rebuild/retool ahead of the playoffs, Dumba is one of the younger, more skilled players on an ageing roster.

With longtime star defenceman Ryan Suter not getting any younger, Matt Dumba will be one of the key players to help fill in for Suter when he starts to decline. Dumba hit the 50-point plateau once in the 2017-2018 season, but was on pace for 56 points last season had he not been injured. While Dumba is having a rather down year in his own standards, the team around him has really not been too good either.

Dumba has the potential to become a top-15 defenseman in the NHL and trading him while he is just 25-years-old and is signed long-term may not be the smartest move for a team looking to contend for the playoffs sooner rather than later.

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Kasperi Kapanen

Kasperi Kapanen is a name that has been featured in trade rumours all season long. Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson have been the two names that have been rumoured for majority of the season to be on the trade block for the Leafs. With Johnsson out for the season while battling an injury suffered back on Thursday, Kasperi Kapanen is one of the big names on the Toronto Maple Leafs constantly caught amidst trade rumours.

Despite the return Kapanen could fetch, the Leafs need the Finnish speedster on the team, especially with the Leafs being prone to injury. With Johnsson now sidelined long-term, the need for Kapanen only becomes stronger as he is a big part of Toronto’s offensive depth.

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